Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ornaments, Bags, and Fun

As you know, I've been making the etched ornaments this season. I've had a blast with them, too. I've tried several different styles and ways of doing them. I have made as many as 10 at a time because once you get started, it's easy to just do a bunch at one time. Tonight, though, I worked on bags to put each ornament in. I did it for the ones I gave to Jaydin's church teachers last night, but I forgot to take pictures. (Sorry!) I took them tonight, though.

Here's the snowman bag. He's made out of an off-brand paper that was bought at Michael's, I think. It isn't as heavy as SU, but worked well with all of the folding. The bag was scored using my beloved ScorPal. The bag was made using Plantin' Schoolbook and the cut out was added in the Design Studio. It was nice to size the ornament bags in the DS so that they JUST fit the ornaments. Perfect.

Now, here's the same bag with one of the ornaments beside it. This is one of my favorite ornaments because I love the detail of the snowflake. You can see the size comparison, as well.

Now .... How many of you have seen the Cricut Chirp (not a link to *this* week's edition. It wasn't up when I looked. Sorry!) this week??? Raise your hands.... come on!! JenC was featured this week. She made a fantastic ornament card with her Design Studio and was gracious enough to share when I asked for the .cut file. She is an awesome designer, and all of you should bookmark her blog. Go there again and again for awesome creations.

Now, this was my first try, so I know that it needs more embellies. I have all of the pieces cut out to make another one tomorrow. These are sooooo much fun and so impressive to see. I do need to work a little on the size of the ornament on the inside. This one was a little bit too big for what I would have liked.

The outside part - the webbing - was made with some designer paper from SU. Jen suggested using light paper for the webbing so that it doesn't take much weight to pull it open. The base is made from SU cardstock with a smaller circle on the back to write on if I want to send it as a card. The inside is also made from SU card stock. It's layered with the tree cut-out on both sides and gold SU paper in the middle. Silver cording allows it to hang freely.

This is the back of the card/ornament. I wanted to make it light enough that ink will show up if I write on it.

Up close and on the tree.

The ornament from the top.

Smooshed! Just the right size for a card envie!! :)

Let me know what you think. Be happy, and have a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cricut Journal

Tonight, I completed a journal that was being made as part of a Christmas gift for a pre-teen cousin of mine. She loves cheerleading, so I created a cheerleader out of the girl on Beyond Birthdays and the pom-pom (one of the layers to a birthday hat!!) on Celebrations. I put that on the journal, along with her name with a black-out shadow. I love the Design Studio. Without it, I could not have made this journal. I used it to cut the front, back, and spine, as well as the name, shadow, and cheerleader. I did cut the pom-poms a second time so that I could add a second color to those in her hands.

The paper was all SU - pixie pink, close to cocoa, pink passion(?), and pumpkin pie. The ribbon was $1 at JoAnn's and the added bling was a gift from my niece about a month ago.

The cheerleader up close.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think!

Oh - the cartridge storage mentioned in the last post is working very well. Next time (perhaps in my spare time after Christmas - YEAH RIGHT!), I'd love to make it out of wood. I have the tools.... I just need to do it. AND ... NO. DH cannot do it for me. Remember that I said that *I* have the tools ......... That's not his comfort zone. Give him a computer ... NOT a saw. :)

Have an awesome night and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cricut Cartridge Storage

I've been trying so hard to figure out how to store my cartridges because I very rarely use the overlays or the books now that I have the Design Studio (for which the new update has some awesome new features!!). It's not optimal for me to get the cartridge out of the box each time and then, to have to put it back in the box each time. I keep my carts alphabetically arranged, so it was easy to find the box, but it was a pain to open the boxes and deal with that each time I wanted to pull one out.

So, I made a 'solution.' It's not pretty. It's not fancy. It's not even attractive - or really strong. However, it does work. And after working with my bugs (yep, both of them) tonight, I found that it works well and saves me time. It has also freed up 3 shelves of space in my Haven - along with all of the space my new ones were taking up on my table because I didn't want to start a new shelf and rearrange all of them yet.

Without further adieu.....

This is my Cricut cartridges' new home. :) Yes .... I used *purple* duct tape to support the sides and edges. I used small labels to label each cartridge with it's name. ATG tape was used to reinforce the adhesive on the back of the labels. So far, that's worked.....

Here's an up-close view of the slots. It has 48 slots, and I have 35 cartridges. I used chipboard (about the weight of a cereal box) for the inside slots and a box (handy that Christmas gifts are on order and being delivered daily!) that I had on hand to make the frame.

Here's the box in it's place in the Haven. It actually fits perfectly between the two shelf supports.

One day, I hope to come up with a more secure, sturdy (and pretty) solution, but until then, I think this will work pretty well. Let me know if you have any comments .... suggestions .... questions .... whatever. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Have an awesome evening and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Glass Etching - Cricut Style .... A Tutorial

Wow. This is such fun and so easy that I thought I'd share exactly how to do it. You will have a blast with this fun technique.

Step 1: Gather supplies. You will need something glass (I used a Christmas ornament for the tutorial), glass etching cream, your Cricut (I also used my Design Studio and the Christmas Cheer cartridge), a vinyl scrap, a paint brush, and a paper towel. You will also need to be near a water source.

This is the etching cream that I used. DO NOT TOUCH THE CREAM. You'd think they'd put that in big letters, wouldn't you??? Yeah ... they don't, so I am putting it in big letters so that you know.

Step 2: Put your vinyl scrap on your mat and cut your stencil as you would cut anything on your bug.

I used the Design Studio so that I would know exactly where my stencil was going to cut and so that I could see it on the screen first.

Step 3: Remove your stencil from the Cricut. In this case, I'm using the actual square that gets cut, but in other cases, you would use what is normally left after cutting and taking the shape out - stuff you often throw away.

Step 4: Remove the backing on the vinyl and apply to the ornament (or whatever your glass is).

Step 5: Coat the open areas of your stencil with a thick coat of the etching cream. Be careful not to get the cream in any place you don't desire etching to occur.

Step 6: Wait. With my etching cream, I had to wait for 60 seconds.

Step 7: Rinse with water. I don't have a picture of this, but I think you can figure it out. Just take your project and hold it under a running faucet. Again .... DO NOT TOUCH THE CREAM. I wanted to 'help' the cream off of the ornament..... Don't do that. Just keep rinsing it until the cream is all off of the project and stencil. You may not notice the etching at this time. The area that you etched may look like it's covered with plastic wrap or something. It looks odd .... but it's just fine. :)

Step 8: Wipe it off with a cloth and take off the stencil. You will start to see the etching at this point.
Put the stencil on something slick or plastic. Then, you can use it again.

On the cloth after rinsing.

Step 9: Enjoy your finished product!

Up close picture of the etching.

Here's another one I did today, as well.

That one's a little more tricky with the holes in the numbers and such, but it's so much fun to try!!!

I hope you'll try this and let me know how it turns out.

As always, have a great day stamping and have a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Toadally Invited :)

My great niece turns one in a few weeks, and her mom wanted a little assistance on the invitations for her party. Everything before she was born was done in frogs - including her room and shower. So, we went with that theme for the party.

The Cricut was used for the green card base. The frog (Paper Dolls) is welded to the crown (Paper Dolls), and the crown is welded to the rectangle base (George). All of that was cut, welded together, in green. The crown was cut again in yellow and adhered to the crown shape on the card. A little sparkle was added to the top of each crown to make it a little more 'royal.' We drew each smile by hand, added flower brads to the Primas, and adhered the flowers with Glue Dots.

The inside of the invitation was embossed with the Swiss Dots embossing folder on the Cuttlebug. A strip of dots was embossed down the side of each of the pink layers (also cut from George on the Cricut), as well. The adorable butterfly was cut and embossed with the Butterfly Combo set for the Cuttlebug.

We made 30 invitations, and they were a good bit of work - i.e. .... I was cussin' by the end of it. :)

But .... she's worth it.

By the way ... all invitation pictures were taken by Rebecca Roberts.

The Caitlyn picture is ALL mine. :)

Have a great day .... and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Birthday Catch Up

I think I have about 10 cards to do for November, so I started last night. Yeah, yeah, it's a little late. I had to get them done, though, so I got to work. I made 2 for Saturday.

This one was done using watercolor paper for the top layer. I used the crayons directly on the stamp and then on the paper. A piece of elegant eggplant makes the 2nd layer and the bottom layer is basic gray put through the Cuttlebug. I rubbed white craft ink on the top of the embossed layer to highlight the top of it. I like the effect it gives. A piece of pink satin ribbon is tied around the top layer to finish it off.

The other card didn't turn out quite like I planned. It's ok, but just not what I had in mind when I started. Again, I used the watercolor paper for the top layer. The bottom layer is basic gray and embossed. Instead of white craft ink, though, I used a bit of basic black to highlight the ridges. Then, I sprayed the piece with Glitter Mist. I ended up going back over some of the ridges with a little more basic black. The hummingbird image is colored with water color crayons and blended with the Aqua Painter. A piece of organdy white ribbon is secured behind the layers.

This shows the basic gray layer a little better. It looks a little like old metal.

I'd love to hear what you think! Have a great day stamping - and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October Challenge Card

I was in charge of sending out the October challenge for our group swap on SCS. Because we were headed out on our cruise at the end of September, I made up the packs early and sent them out. I've just gotten an opportunity to try it, though. For the challenge, I used Ahoy, Matey from SU. I used the set to make several pieces of 'card candy' and also sent several separate images from the set and some ribbon. The challenge was to use at least one piece of the 'card candy' and the ribbon to make a GIRL card. They could use images if they wished and could change them in any way, but couldn't take anything away from the card candy pieces. A piece of purple cardstock was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and included - but mainly to protect the items in the envelope. Participants could use the cardstock if they wished, but it wasn't required.

So ..... what did my card look like? Here ya go...

I used watercolor pencils to color the ship on the blue paper. I used white first and then put the other colors on top. I did use a blender pen to blend the colors a little. It tends to take away the pencil 'stripes' from the initial coloring. Craft ink was used on the sides to accent the piece, and the ribbon was tied on top. A little bit of clear Stickles was used on the little purple flag. Nothing was done to the Ahoy Matey skull piece. The purple, embossed cardstock was highlighted first with light pink pigment ink and then with white pigment ink. The ink was swiped in both horizontal and vertical directions to give a little bit of a linen look to the piece. A small piece of bling was put in the center of the flower that shows the best after the card candy pieces were put on there. It was all put on a white card base.

So ..... what do you think????? I think it turned out kind of neat.

As always, happy stamping and have a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We're Back! :)

Back from vacation and on a roll with challenges. As I think I mentioned before, I receive a challenge each month from a different person on our challenge swap thread. I have failed miserably to keep up. I did June and July pretty quickly, but got behind when I received August and September. Just yesterday, I managed to get both of those challenges done. I still need to get October done, but I still have over half of a month to do that. :)

This was the challenge for August. We were sent the images, ribbon, cardstock strip, pearl, and designer paper. We could put them on any color card base. I chose an SU green (the one in earth elements), and put the designer paper so that the lines were going horizontal so that I could have the ribbon stripes going the same way. I colored the image with watercolor wonder crayons, blended the colors with a blending pen, and put ink on the edges (going gray) to soften it a bit. This was a little more simple than I wanted, but I like the way it came out.

September Challenge - we were sent the images, flowers, pink cardstock strip, saffron tab, brad, sentiments, googly eyes, and designer paper. We were told to use some of each thing and to add some 'bling' in the form of some kind of glitter product. This is my result. The Cuttlebug was used to emboss little flowers on the cardstock strip. It's one of the border folders that I bought last month. I cut out the little dragonfly, colored him with watercolor wonder crayons, and added some stickles to the purple wings. The frog was colored and the edges of the layer was inked with green to bring it out a bit. The designer paper was used to look a bit like grass, and the sentiment was inked to make it a little 'grass-stained.' The flowers were combined to make the double colored flowers and to give some dimension. Inside the flowers, I used a white gel pen to make little accent dots. The googly eyes fit perfectly on the frog.

So ... what do you think??

October challenge will be next. I will try to get that done this week.

Hope you all have a stamp-a-riffic night and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow (I heard that 8 days ago IN PERSON. :) )!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick Create!

I needed a card for tomorrow. My daughter is having her 3rd birthday party, and one of her guests will turn 3 while we're gone on the cruise. I have her gift, but needed to get a card made for her. This is a quick one, but I really like it. She loves Tinkerbell ...

Tinkerbell is cut using my Cuttlebug and SU mint melody (I think) paper. It is a combo set of an embossing folder and a cutting die. The frame behind her is also a combo and is called Star Frame. It is cut from yo yo yellow - also SU. The paper is pale plum, and the edge is embossed with one of the new edge embossing folders (comes in a set of 5 or 6, I think). The background is stamped using a doodle from SU and white craft ink. Little green gems embellish the flowers on the doodles.

Oh .... and the dark area in the bottom right-hand corner is just a shadow. Sorry. :(

I sure hope she likes the card. It was done especially for her.

Have a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is it the 70s?

We went tie dye C-R-A-Z-Y! LOL!!! I wanted all of us to have tie dyed shirts for our cruise - or for the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I thought that if I was going tie dye some things, I might as well use up the dye and dye everything I could find. :)

Ideally, they would each have a cute Mickey head in the middle of the shirt. That worked .... sort of .... for all but 2 of them. That's ok. They all turned out great. Two of them just don't have the 'ideal' Mickey on them.

These shirts belong to the boys. They really turned out great. Can you see the Mickey on each one??? :) I love them.

This one is Mark's. It didn't have a Mickey head - at least, not a well-defined one, but the colors are so great!! We just love it.

Both of these shirts are Jaydin's. The one with orange in the middle is suppose to have a Mickey head on it, but it didn't quite turn out that way. That's ok. She's happy with it, and the shirts really look cool.

These two shirts are mine and my mom's. Both have pretty clearly discernible Mickey heads. Can ya see them?

The last 3 pictures are of the pillowcases and tote bags we made.

This is the pillowcase on my pillow!

None of these are paper, but this is what my crafting was yesterday. I would love to have your thoughts!

Have an awesome night!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cards & Bleeding Tissue Technique

Yesterday, I needed to make 5 cards for birthdays in October. My SU order came last week, and I really wanted to try a couple of the sets. These daisies just cried for the bleeding tissue technique (from Technique Junkies!). A sunset scene would go perfectly with the daisy silhouettes. I pulled out my purple, yellow, orange, and red tissue and went to work. Before I knew it, I completed 6 backgrounds. They made really pretty cards - without much embellishment needed. Hopefully, my friends won't mind getting similar cards for the October birthdays. :)

These card were made using bleeding tissue from Michael's and SU glossy cardstock. The daisies are from Upsy Daisy set - new this catalog - and are stamped in basic black. Elegant Eggplant is used for the back layer.

This card is done the same way (and is the one on the right above), but "live with passion" is stamped as a sentiment on the front. It's stamped with basic black directly on the background. The sentiment is from the new SU set Inspired By Nature.

October cards are done. Cruise is right around the corner!!!

Have a great day, and remember that there's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day! :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Can't resist ...

Our cruise is coming up soooooo soon, and I canNOT wait!!! :) We are making gifts for some others on our cruise that are participating in the Fish Extender program. Our fish extender pocket thing was posted a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I decided to do gifts for the kids and gifts for the adults. I'm a bit afraid that what I've done for the adults (one per cabin because I made all of them) is lame. Soooooo, I'd appreciate your opinions and thoughts.

These are the little gifts that I made. They are magnetic frames for small 3x4 pictures. You just load the pictures at the opening in the top of the frame. Lame???

The paper used is all SU - real red and basic black. The stamped sentiment - Magical Moments - is a Disney set that I bought in WDW several years ago. It is stamped in basic black ink. The frame front with the Mickey ears was cut with the Cricut. I cut 4 at a time using the Design Studio and 12x12 paper. The ears from Mickey Font were welded onto a rectangle from George. I spaced it all out so that each frame fit into the middle of a 6x6 piece.

Ok ... your turn. Tell me what you think.

AND ..... VAL and KIMBERLY ....... you aren't suppose to be looking!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

Have a great night and remember .... there's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow at the end of every day! (I hope to hear that in person in 4 weeks!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Arrrgh, Matey!

My youngest child is turning 3 in just a few weeks. It's so hard to think that she's growing up so very fast. Anyway, as everyone knows, when a child turns such an important age, a party must ensue! So, in a couple of weeks - just before we leave for the cruise - we will have a fun pirate party for the little pirate princess here at our house. Now, coming up with a QUICK, girly invitation to a pirate party was interesting. I knew that my Cricut was a must. I can cut things so fast with the bug. Below is what I came up with. Yes, it could be more fancy, but I needed 22 of them, so fancy was not in my time allotment.

The cards were designed in the Cricut Design Studio. I used George for the square silhouette around the skull and crossbones, Plantin' Schoolbook for the back of the card, the inside liner of the front, and the hearts in the skull, and Paper Dolls for the skull and crossbones (I LOVE that cart!!). The paper is all SU. I had to use several colors because I didn't have enough of any of them to make all of the invitations. Oh well, variety is the spice of life, right? :) The bow on the front is the small organdy that SU retired some time ago.

Inside the invitations, I adhered the actual invitations. I printed them on computer paper and cut them out. After cutting them, I scrunched them up and inked the edges with basic brown ink.

As usual - let me know what you think!

I have several more projects in line before the cruise. The cruise is coming in only 3 1/2 weeks, too!!!!! :)

Have a great, big, beautiful tomorrow! (and today, too!)

Friday, August 29, 2008


Another cruise book for memories. This one is for my soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter. I'm hoping that she can use the book for autographs. She can have the autograph on one page and the picture of her with the character/person on the opposite page. I didn't decorate all of the pages, leaving myself the option of embellishing pages when we get home.

The book was created using my Cricut Expression and the Design Studio. I could have used the original Cricut, but I was cutting 2 book covers at the same time. It was cut from lightweight cardboard (like at the back of a package of paper you might buy). I cut the outer layer paper the same way - and cut some other paper for the inside covers. "Jaydin's Memories" was welded in the Design Studio. The "o" in "memories" was replaced by a Mickey head. I put a small circle in the middle to make sure it still looked like an 'o'. The words were cut from SU basic black paper. The ship was cut on the Cricut, too, using the Design Studio. Black, white, and red ribbons were used on the binder rings that hold the book together. A little bling from AMuse makes the cover just a little more magical.

This is inside the front of the book.

And this is the back of the book. The Mickey and Minnie heads were cut using the Cuttlebug and embossed, as well. I love those.

This is one of the princess pages that I made. I think there are 4 or 6 princess pages. I will try to take some more pictures of those to post, as well as the other pages that are done.

As always, I'd love to know what you think!

Have an awesome day and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!